VIDEO: Gay Marriage Flap at Miss USA Pageant

Apr. 20 2009, Published 10:13 a.m. ET

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Leave it to Perez Hilton to spark controversy.

A judge at this year's Miss USA pageant, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the celebrity blogger asked Miss California, a statuesque San Diego blond named Carrie Prejean, a nerve-wracking question.

"Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage," he said. "Do you think every state should follow suit, why or why not?"

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Prejan answered: "I think its great Americans are able to choose one way or another," Prejean said. "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised, and that's how I think it should be -- between a man and a woman."


Prejan's comments, predictably, divided those in the audience, as her reasons was met with both cheers and boos.

Charmaine Koonce, the mother of third-place finisher Miss New Mexico, loudly supported Prejan's sentiments in a post-pageant argument in the hotel lobby.

"In the Bible it says marriage is between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," Koonce said, winning points for originality.

In the end, Prejan's candid conservatism may have been what cost her the crown -- she finished second in the competition to North Carolina's Kristen Dalton.



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